Issues With Slip And Fall Accident Claims Regarding Retail Stores
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Slip and fall accidents can happen at any time. Unplowed and unsalted sidewalks can become slippery with snow and ice, and tree roots can cause an unexpected fall.
It’s not always clear who is liable for a slip and fall accident at a retail store. Consider engaging a slip and fall attorney to determine if you should pursue legal action.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Many people think of slip and fall accidents as incidents that occur outside. But every year, many Americans are hurt indoors at shopping malls and grocery stores.
Inside, low lighting, torn carpets, and wet floors are potential causes of a slip and fall accident. A store is responsible for maintaining the property regularly, fixing any problems as they arise.
If they fail to do so or fail to notify customers of a hazard, then they could be liable if an accident occurs on their property.
Accidents are also more likely to happen on busy shopping days, like Black Friday or Christmas Eve, especially in inclement weather.
If you fall and injure yourself, make sure to get medical treatment as soon as possible. Slip and falls often result in head injuries, which can continue to cause medical issues hours, days, and even months after the injury first happened.
Who is Liable?
Premises liability means that a store has a duty to provide a safe environment free of potential hazards. However, in Michigan, store owners are protected by the ‘open and obvious’ clause.
An opposing lawyer can argue that you should have noticed the hazard before you slipped, or that it was obviously a danger.
In 2017, a claimant successfully argued against the open and obvious clause. A truck hit a woman in an open parking lot. The family’s attorney argued that because the retailer did not warn customers about traffic, they should be held liable.
This precedent has made it easier for customers to receive compensation from stores, but it is still not a clear-cut issue. Every situation is different, and working with a lawyer can improve your chances.
If you received a slip and fall injury due to unsafe conditions at a retail store, you should file a premises liability Slip and Fall Accident claims.
To prove the store’s liability, you or your lawyer will need to argue a few things.
- They knew about the hazard,
- They did not take steps to fix it
- You wouldn’t have slipped without the presence of the hazard
- The hazard directly caused your injury
- Your fall resulted in demonstrable damages
- The hazard was not clear and obvious
Keep a Record
Even if you can prove the store’s liability, you must be able to prove damages. You should keep a detailed record of any doctor visits, medications prescribed, diagnoses received, and all associated costs. If you missed work, keep track of days missed and wages lost.
If possible, take pictures of the area where you slipped as well as the surrounding area. Clearly show a lack of warning signs or the presence of dangerous conditions.
Also, record the details of your injury and the date and time it happened. When you speak with your personal injury attorney, all this information can help them build your case and prove that you have damages.
If your injury resulted in a short or long-term disability, you might be eligible to receive disability benefits while you’re unable to work. When choosing your lawyer, make sure they are also familiar with disability law.
Working With a Law Firm
Slip and fall cases are not always cut and dry, especially when they involve a retail store. An experienced lawyer can help you determine if you should proceed with your Slip and Fall Accident Claims.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.